All posts tagged Friday Inspiration:

March 06, 2009 | Comment


About JR: JR is 25 years old and owns the largest art gallery in the world. He exhibits his arts freely in the streets, attracting people who are usually not visiting museums. His work is a mix of art and action, reflecting the concepts of political involvement, freedom, identity and boundary. He describes himself as an “artivist”, a condense of artist and activist. With his 28 mm lens, with people wincing, huge posters and his anonymity, the photographer does not give any interpretation and leave a free space to allow the subject/actor and the bystander/interpreter to meet. With the surprise and the questions that JR is raising, each of us can review our own thoughts and free ourselves from stereotypes and prejudices. This is all JR’s work: to ask questionsâ?¦
The 3rd step of the 28 mm lens project, Women Are Heroes, was directed in Africa, in post-war zones. JR took photography of women of whom he wanted to share their painful stories and to testify their urge for life. The women’s portraits have been exhibited in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
To see more of JR’s projects visit: JR Art

January 08, 2009 | 2 comments

As I work on the story about my adventure to Provo, Utah + the NBA D-League Showcase Event, I thought I’d share a few pics that are serving as my motivation/afflatus for the story. Enjoy!

NBA D-League Showcase 2009













December 26, 2008 | Comment

From the ‘Gamechangers’ website:

“Change the Game for Women in Sports.

Together we can overcome any barrier. We can create opportunities for women to win. And the freedom to try.

Gamechangers is a competition and community in one. Its a contest of ideas to level the playing field. Share your stories. Let use know about people and organizations beating the odds.

Enter your ideas. Win $5,000 and speak to people with the resources to bring your ideas to life. “

Go here for more information.  And be a game changer. 

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

December 12, 2008 | 1 comment

Down under in Melbourne, Australia last week, I was interviewed by a videographer with the Homeless World Cup, who had a couple of questions for me:



What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

December 04, 2008 | Comment


An email received this week at Katalyst Central:

I am writing to let you know that PBS Engage is featuring Roadtrip Nation

co-founder, Nathan Gebhard, as part of the ongoing PBS Engage series called “Five Good Questions.”

The series features a PBS celebrity or insider and asks visitors to send in questions to be answered the following week.  The blog series has been very successful and we are thrilled to have Nate as our feature this week.  This is a chance for visitors to ask him about the popular series, his own journey of self-discovery in the Green RV and what inspiring individuals Roadtrip Nation has connected with over the years.
Since Kevin Carroll was featured on the program during its original season, we thought this may be of interest to you.  If you have a blog or are part of a social network, we hope that you will pass this information along.  Please visit the link and post your comments and questions here.

You can also visit us at PBS Engage  and follow us on Twitter.

Thank you!

Amy R. Baroch

Senior Project Manager, PBS Engage

Follow the hypertext links above and check out Roadtrip Nation on line on the PBS website.

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

November 28, 2008 | Comment

Team Argentina arrives (today) at the soccer pitch in Melbourne, Australia, site of the 2008 Homeless World Cup.

Here are the scheduled activities for Day One in Melbourne: 

Monday, December 1

  *Homeless World Cup Street Parade 12.15—1pm, Starts at the corner of Exhibition and Collins Streets and then turns left down Swanston St, ending at Federation Square. The streets of Melbourne’s centre will be a sea of colour and excitement as 56 teams proudly carry their flags and display their spirit and passion for the tournament that changes lives.
  *Opening Ceremony 1-1.45pm, Federation Square Stadium. The official opening of the Melbourne 2008 Homeless World Cup with speakers the Premier of Victoria, Mr John Brumby, founder and president, Homeless World Cup, Mel Young, and Australian Street Soccer Advisory Group chairman, Terry Campbell. Also featuring live music and dance. As a symbol of peace, 56 trees will be passed out, each representing one of the 56 teams.
  *Opening Match—Team Australia 2.15pm kick off, Federation Square Stadium, Australia v. TBA (to be decided at the match draw) Homeless World Cup matches 2.15-6.15pm. Check daily match schedule for details. Federation Square Stadium, Melbourne and Yarra pitches, Birrarung Marr.

Stay tuned for our exclusive reports from Melbourne!

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

October 24, 2008 | Comment


A little over a year ago, we carried a piece on KCK blog written by a friend of mine, Drew Chafetz, about his social entrepreneurial endeavor, Luv Futbol!  Drew builds soccer fields in impoverished communities around the world. 

The Washington Post recently had an article on Drew and this concept of social entrepreneurship taking root in Generation Next: young people forgoing the corporate, high prestige track for the more uncertain but fulfilling non-profit track of working to uplift communities hard hit by poverty or war.  Check out the excerpt below: 

“Getting Kicks from His Career
Drew Chafetz, 25, still lives in his parents’ basement in Northwest—but he’s no slacker.

By Ian Shapira
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Drew Chafetz, 25, a graduate of the private Maret School with a degree in economics from the University of Colorado, makes no money. He lives with his parents in Northwest Washington, sleeping in the same poster-filled basement room of his teenage years. For breaks, he moseys outside in his slippers and kicks around a soccer ball, pretending the garage is a goal.

But Chafetz, despite failure-to-launch appearances, is no slacker. He is actually on an alternative achievement track popular with his generation: social entrepreneurship. Using cheap Internet phone service and free coffee-shop wireless, Chafetz works full time on a project he founded called love.fĂştbol. The nonprofit organization helps build low-maintenance soccer fields in Guatemalan communities where children often have no place to play except garbage-strewn lots or hard-to-reach fields.”

Read the entire article here.

If you give kids who are hemmed in by poverty a safe place to play, they can dream - bigger, brighter dreams.  They come to believe in possibilities beyond what they see around them.  Drew and other social entrepreneurs are directing their attention to the next generation and the need to keep real hope alive in them at the most fundamental level:  Play!

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

September 25, 2008 | Comment


I received this email from my good friend, Kurt Perschke, artist of note who is just concluding a month-long residence of the Red Ball Project in his hometown of Chicago.


A group of students came by today, your students, they drove two
hours into the city to see the project.  Said a guy named Kevin
talked to them in Arizona last winter and they’ve been waiting ever
since!  lots of signing the flipbooks (and one of your books which
felt a bit strange), and a whole lot of pictures. I was in a bunch so
only got a few myself.  these kids were great and still so filled
with their experience of you.  its an amazing thing you do my man.

just thought you should know. thurs is last day!  I think I’m leaving
the country and turning off the cell for a week.

best - kurt


BIG congrats, Kurt, for pulling off this month long marathon, the citywide inspirational-installation/media fest that the RBP has become.  And thanks for the heads up on the AZ students checking out the RB.  When people I’ve spoken to receive a takeaway that manifests in an action that helps keep alive what’s been opened up within them - its the best!  My mission is to be that kind of “Katalyst.” 

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

September 12, 2008 | Comment

Jessica, my able assistant always finds interesting sports related social change activities.  For example, the Sport Matters Group:

What is the Sport Matters Group?

The SMG is a voluntary group of individuals who have come together to talk about the important contribution that sport makes to society, and to collaborate on various sport policy issues on an ad hoc basis. The Group has actively worked together on the Canadian Sport Policy, the new Sport and Physical Activity Act, and on increasing the resources available for sport in Canada.

What other activities is the SMG involved in?

The federal election kicks off and so does our sport campaign: I believe in the power of sport to..

With your participation, our campaign will reach-out to candidates in all 308 ridings across Canada with your message about the power of sport. Together, we will ask each candidate how they propose to strengthen sport in Canada. Simply asking the question can make all the difference when we work together.

It’s easy to get involved.

It is easy - when you have a clear idea of your mission.  And there’s no doubt that where there’s a will - and a blueprint like the Sport Matters Group - there is a well-paved way.

Thanks, Jessica, for the heads up.


What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

September 05, 2008 | Comment


Report from the Windy City:

Spertus Institute

Day 2 of the RedBall Project was a huge success.  The stunning 10-story faceted window wall that forms the facade of the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies (designed by award-winning Chicago firm of Krueck + Sexton) proved to be an amazing site and back-drop for the installation to work its magic.  On bustling South Michigan Avenue with nearby art schools in session (Columbia College + the Art Institute of Chicago within blocks) the students were the bulk of the intrigued audience.  That said, Chicago’s finest construction teams took in the RedBall on their lunch breaks as did the US OLYMPIC Team - medal-clad and all. (They were in town being hosted by Oprah at Millennium Park and whizzed by on double-decker buses with their best Olympian waves to the RedBall, lots of practice at this point).

NBC spent the better half of the day filming and WTTW/Channel 11(PBS) also appeared later in the day to capture footage and interview Kurt (Perschke).

The biggest fan of the day had to be Dr. Howard A. Sulkin, President of the Spertus.  So enthralled with the project and the public’s reaction he escorted Kurt and the RedBall team up to the balcony of the building for a breathtaking birds-eye view of the RedBall (and the City of Chicago)...

Kurt’s ‘Red Ball Project - Chicago’  runs through September 25th, the longest running exhibition to date.  Check out the exhibit website to follow the wedged ball!

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

August 29, 2008 | Comment


From the Youth Noise website:

Making a KASE for Girls Soccer

Posted by:trinachi on 08/21/08

Today I’d like to recognize a collaborative sports effort that pushes for gender equality, teaches about AIDS/HIV prevention, builds life-skills for at-risk youth, and provides educational opportunities for women and girls in Kenya.

The team began with a few primary players: CARE (a humanitarian organization that fights global poverty) and their Sport for Social Change Initiative, Nike Let Me Play (a youth-directed program to fight global poverty and oppression through sports), and the Mathare Youth Soccer Association (dedicated to empowering impoverished youth in Kenya through sports and community service projects).

Once these three players got together to kick some ideas around on the playing field, they realized that they were unstoppable. They chose a team name—the Kenyan American Soccer Exchange, or KASE—and scored goal after goal empowering women and girls in Kenya.

The KASE Girls USA Tour brought Kenyan teams to the States to build relationships and play soccer. KASE also hosts workshops to train Kenyan coaches, build political and economic support for women’s sports in Kenya, and assist Universities in developing women’s sports programs. 

The Kase crew, in the midst of a multi-city tour, made it out to Portland in April; I remember seeing some news coverage of their visit. Beautiful cross cultural connections were made that could result in longterm friendships…and perhaps, change. 

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

August 22, 2008 | Comment


From TomPeters.Com:

Dispatches from the new world of work
World’s Worst Advice!

An old friend visited for a couple of days last week. Google him, and you’ll be impressed. Or you would be, if I’d tell you who it is.

In the course of a dozen conversations—old guy conversations—we shared stories of joys and sorrows, anger and pain, good fortune and ill winds, pals and foes and traitors and through-it-all supporters.

His Hall-of-Fame career includes bushels of excoriating criticisms along the way. Embarrassing and well-deserved failures. Off years—in fact, off decades.

And musing on it all reminded me of a Very Sensible Saying that I think is pure, unmitigated crap, in fact the World’s Worst Advice:

“Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.”

As I said ... pure crap.

Forget “fold ‘em.”
Drop it from your vocabulary.
Excise it.
Bury it.
Stomp on its grave.

If you care, really care, really really care about what you are pursuing, well, then, pursue-the-hell-out-of-it-until-hell-freezes-over-and-then-some-and-then-some-more. And may the naysayers roast in hell or freeze in the Antarctic or bore themselves to death with the sound of their “statistically accurate” adviceâ?¦

There you have it!


What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

August 15, 2008 | Comment


When your field of play is a dirty courtyard or a trash filled lot - steps can be taken to clear the debris, plant grass and create an oasis for youth to play.  But what about the ocean?

A while back we told you about the “Free Rice” campaign.  Here’s another opportunity from the Youthnoise crew that requires a simple click of your computer mouse to help us help the ocean…

Just 1 Click

In August, clicks will give support to sporting for good. For each click, YN will donate $.01—up to $1,000—to the Surfrider Foundation.

100,000 clicks can help the Surfrider Foundation confront water pollution, beach access, beach loss, and other serious issues. More

Clicks so far: 30,884
Goal: 100,000

Protecting Our Beaches for Over 20 Years

The Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans—having fun while making a difference. Founded in 1984, the Surfrider Foundation focuses on clean water, beach access, beach preservation, and protecting special places as their major initiatives. Click every day in August to help keep our oceans clean, safe, and fun.

With ocean dead zones expanding at alarming rates, we have a lot of work to do - on land as well as sea.  This is a tiny step, but its heading in the right direction.  Play your part - click that mouse.

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

August 08, 2008 | Comment

It is truly a big world and the problems in it often require that those with more give to those with not quite as much.  Sport that creates or helps facilitate social change often requires travel - because the children of most struggling nations bear the brunt of poverty, disease and war.  Here is another story of people seeing a need - far away from home - and using the time and talent that they possess to help kids in need…

From Seacoast Online:

Soccer goal: Seacoast United’s goodwill trip to Kenya’s ‘win-win’
A girl’s homemade soccer ball puts life in perspective

By Mike Sullivan
August 03, 2008 6:00 AM

Life is all about perspective. Our perceptions of what is good, bad, beautiful, ugly or anything in between depend on the individual and what his or her collective experiences have been. Paul Willis and Matt Glode, the executive director and director of youth programs for Seacoast United Soccer Club in Hampton, recently got a crash course in perspective.

The pair embarked on a goodwill trip to Kenya, spending three days conducting a workshop for Kenyan leaders of youth sports organizations, and then spent four days assisting with a four-day clinic for as many as 60 girls a day…


Eve, 16, is the mother of a 1-year-old child, which is commonplace in Kenya. Eve loves soccer so much she actually plays it, which isn’t commonplace in Kenya. Girls playing sports is, by and large, frowned upon. And that’s putting it mildly.

Eve would sneak away from her home to locations where her parents couldn’t find her so she could play. If her father found out, he would beat her. The beatings didn’t stop her, though.

One day, her father was walking home from work and he heard a bunch of boys in a field calling Eve’s name. He stopped to find out what was going on and couldn’t believe his eyes. The boys were calling to her because they wanted the ball—she was the best player on the field.

From then on, the beatings stopped. The father understood. He realized this was good for his daughter and that soccer could, just maybe, help her find a better life…

Follow the link below to read the whole story…

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!


August 07, 2008 | Comment

Thursday Shoutout is our time to feature those who have given us love on their websites or blogs.  This is our way of saying: Backatcha!

From the ‘Fuel 4 The Journeyblog:

Sunday, August 3, 2008
What’s your Red Rubber Ball…
As many of you know from reading my blog, I am a HUGE fan of Kevin Carroll’s Rules of the Red Rubber Ball. Well, he has truly outdone himself with his new book “What’s your Red Rubber Ball”. It is absolutely GLORIOUS and I can’t wait to implement it into my classroom this fall.

It truly is amazing, I just love the Magic Box activity and the questions Kevin asks…“What makes you laugh or smile, what in life do you find irresistible…”. I know my students are going to love tackling their dreams and creating their own boxes of magic this year.

I encourage ALL teachers to pick up a copy right now and even if you can’t fit it into your curriculum, I think it would be GREAT to make your own box of magic to show your students. You can read more about the book by clicking on the link below.


Well pre-planning is a week away and I am SUPER excited. I hope to write once or twice a week throughout the school year. I would love to hear the exciting things that are going on in your life and if you teach, what excites you about the upcoming school year.

All the best…and keep living the Dream!!!


Love the blog title, Sam!  The journey indeed requires fuel - inspiration, heart, know-how.  And it sounds like you know how to keep your students engaged, focused and fueled on their journeys.

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

August 01, 2008 | Comment

This urgent appeal from A. J. Thomson from my hometown news source is a must read.  Future generations of youth are depending on us to act quickly and decisively…

From Philly.Com:


Mon, Jul. 28, 2008

‘PRACTICE! Practice! Not a game, practice!”

Six years later, Allen Iverson’s career-defining quote still pops up on Sportscenter or in daily cultural references.

And, like AI, yes, I’m talking about practice, but not as an evil to be avoided, but as an opportunity. I’m talking about practice because, for thousands of kids, the word has little significance.

Though they see sports on TV, listen to music on the radio or play games at home, they have no chance to practice with their peers. To them, practice is something suburban moms on a television show take their kids to via minivan. To them, practice is something Brian Westbrook sits out so he can be ready to dominate on Sundays.

Practice. It’s time to talk about practice and where it went.

Philadelphia once had a thriving youth-sports and cultural-organization network. Those of us who preceded the present practice-less generation remember games played at our local rec centers with hopes of taking on teams from Feltonville or West Philly. We remember practice and the time spent with our friends and teammates under the direction of volunteer coaches, usually a few our parents.

Thankfully, some parts of the city still have good organizations. We are lucky in my community of Fishtown to be one of them. Across the city, thousands of kids are currently involved in sports, arts and drama and other community-based cultural organizations thanks to the dedicated volunteers who help bring them this opportunity.

Unfortunately, a disproportionately larger number of kids don’t have the chance to participate. For them, practice is limited to rumor and a dream that one day they too can experience the thrill of being part of a team or performing in a play.

Follow the link below to read the rest of this important article…

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

July 24, 2008 | 2 comments

Image courtesy of Barnes & Noble

From My ESPN Blog:

WYRRB?!A Series of Fortunate Events

From an idea to on the shelves and on the web, “What’s Your Red Rubber Ball?! discover your inspiration and chase it for a lifetime” is my latest book effort that I’ve been pursuing for over two years. Today, July 22, my second book will be released. Each time I think about my printed and bound words being easily accessible to the public, I get an oh-so-familiar visceral response. It’s a feeling of being scared and exhilarated that settles right in the deep recesses of my stomach and makes me uncontrollably lurch forward and double over. I used to get that feeling before stepping into the starting blocks at a track meet (see Track Town USA post). All sorts of madness and questions were running through my head as the release date drew closer—is it any good; did I deliver the message I wanted; will it be inspiring; will the reader “get it”; will I sell enough books to please my publisher (ESPN Books/Disney Publishing); will more than friends and family purchase it—this is a BIG worry considering that my book will be competing against more than 150,000 titles published this year.

Online book description: In a boldly designed, highly energetic book, Kevin Carroll leads readers through a series of exercises designed to help them discover their Red Rubber Ball—a dream to chase for a lifetime. With a cardboard box to be decorated, punch-out inspiration cards, a removable dream statement, and gatefold pages that can be written on, this engaging new book offers tweens and teens a fun, accessible way to think about their hopes and dreams.

So, how did I get to this point?! Well, here’s my tale of how a series of fortunate events unfolded to create this opportunity to publish another book with the Worldwide Leader In Sports. This moment is equally filled with a anxiety, exuberance, and satisfaction:

Follow the link below to read the rest of my post…

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

July 18, 2008 | Comment


From the State.Com:

About a year after being drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the No. 2 pick of the 2002 NBA Draft, (Jay) Williams was flung from his motorcycle when it smashed into a utility pole at 75 mph, seemingly ending his once-promising basketball career and almost killing him.


“It was hard, there were times when I thought about taking my life,” Williams said of his state after the accident. “I was on anti-depressants, taking OxyContin, and there were parts of my body that I couldn’t use anymore. The one word that could describe everything is the word â??humble’.

Williams, who had just completed his rookie season in the NBA, suffered severe ligament damage to his left knee, nerve damage to his leg and a broken pelvis. Just days after the crash, Williams was told by his doctor that he would be lucky to walk again, and the damage required 13 surgeries in three months.”

Williams, a Duke University graduate, came back from his injury and attempted a comeback to no avail.  Today, Williams works for 24 Hour Fitness and does the next best thing, speaking to young b-ballers at basketball camps and giving them the benefit of his hard earned experience.  His message: stay in school and “you can do anything that you put your mind to.”  Words to live by.

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

July 11, 2008 | Comment


From my friend, my idol, Paulo Coelho:

“Dear readers,

I wish to make a virtual exhibition for the 100 Million Copies sold. And invite you to participate. 
Based on an idea that I saw in an exhibition in Aviles - dedicated to the 20th anniversary of my book The Alchemist -
I would like to extend it to the virtual space and invite you to take part.

The idea of this physical exhibition that I saw in Aviles (and that will be reproduced in Milan this week) is the following:
a reader would pose for a picture holding his/her favorite book of mine.
Please then take a picture of yourself holding your favorite book of mine and send to us.

You should include in your email your name and country and send it to the following email address:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (don’t worry about the quality).

My team will be up-loading the pictures in this page throughout the year.


100 million inspiring, moving, provocative books authored by the ‘Crazy Magician.’  Mr. Coelho has conquered every continent, not with the sword, but with the well chosen word.  As one who gifts Paulo’s classic book, ‘The Alchemist’ at every opportunity, I can personally vouch for the fact that his books change lives.  A hearty congratulations to you, Sir, and I am confident that 200 million is right around the corner!

And one more thing: if you have - and I know that you do - a Coelho classic, take a digi photo and send it to the email address above and become a part of Paulo’s beautiful, global quilt.

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!